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New recruits announced on eve of Vuelta - a race in which they have both worn the leader's jersey...

Team Sky have announced the signing of Jonathan Castroviejo from Movistar and Quick Step Floors rider David de la Cruz, the first new recruits revealed by the UCI WorldTour team for the 2018 season.

News the Spanish pair will be heading to Team Sky comes ahead of the 72nd edition of the Vuelta, which starts with a team time trial in Nîmes, southern France, on Saturday.

Castroviejo, aged 30, has twice led his home Grand Tour after being the first Movistar rider across the line in an opening time trial stage, in 2012 and 2014.

He is the reigning Spanish national time trial champion, winning the title his year for the third time, and also acted a domestique to Nairo Quintana when the Colombian won the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and last year’s Vuelta.

In 2016, he was fourth in the time trial at the Rio Olympics and took bronze in the same discipline at the UCI Road World Championships.

Looking ahead to joining Team Sky, he said: “Everybody knows the strength in the team, and how important the spirit between the riders is to the team’s success. I’m really looking forward to being part of that, bringing my own experience and learning new things.

“I have been part of Grand Tour winning teams in the past and I want to do that again in the future. I’m happy to be taking this next step with Team Sky.”

At last year’s Vuelta, de la Cruz took the race lead after winning Stage 9, and finished the race seventh overall. The 28-year-old also won the closing stage of this year’s Paris-Nice.

He said: “I’m excited to be joining the team. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Quick Step but I definitely feel that, at this point in my career, Team Sky is the best place for me to progress and to be the best rider I can be.

“I think the team understand my skills as a rider and what I can offer to the team, so I’m really happy to be joining Team Sky and I am looking forward to this new challenge.”

Team principal Sir Dave Brailsford commented: “Jonathan and David are both in the prime of their careers. They have impressive results to their name already, individually and as part of winning teams. What we really value is their hunger to continue to develop, and to do that at Team Sky. 

“We have a principle that riders should approach a race looking to win, supporting someone else winning, or learning how to win for the future. Jonathan and David know how to win across a range of different scenarios.

“They will fit straight into the team and, importantly, bring their winning experience to a squad full of young talent. 

“These are the first of a number of new rider signings we will be making for 2018 as we strengthen our line-up with experienced riders with proven track records, whilst also seeking to bring in the best young talent from around the world to develop at Team Sky and play a big part in our future.”

Riders already confirmed as leaving Team Sky at the end of this season include Mikel Landa and Elia Viviani, who have signed, respectively, for Movistar and Quick Step Floors.

Mikel Nieve is headed to Orica Scott, while Peter Kennaugh will join Bora-Hansgrohe and Ian Boswell has signed for Katusha-Alpecin.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

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don simon [1769 posts] 6 months ago
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In other Spanish news:

Samu Sanchez suspended (26) and Fundacion Berti takes over the Trek youth squad training stuff (17).

Diego P Sevilla is a name for the future.